Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: If Only I Were So Clever

I never do the Thursday Thirteen. Never.

Okay, almost never.

But I was tired of looking at the same dang poastie. I thought of a couple of political ones, but I don't like doing those very often (clearly!)

Then I figured, what the 'ell, today's Thursday, let's go out on a limb. I may as well stick with what I've got on the brain.

So here are Thirteen Movies I Wish I Had Written.

This is a little different from my favorite movies, I suppose, because this is more about the writing, the clever dialogue, the sharp twists, the economy... Plus there are some I probably would like, but wouldn't want to write, especially some adaptations.

So here's the list, and in no particular order. I might change that line after I write the list :-)

1. Casablanca: Of all the gin joints in all the world, she walks into mine. Hell, any screenwriter would have been proud to write just one of the dozen lines all over this beauty.

2. Chinatown: Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown. Some of the coolest lines ever are in this one, and reading the screenplay makes you feel like you're watching the movie. Some of the lines are great, even without Jack's particular rhythm ringing in your ears.

3. Pulp Fiction: I'm sorry, did I break your concentration? Sharp, bang-bang, spot on dialogue everywhere. You got the feeling these people were just saying what comes to mind.

4. Fargo: And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. This script is pitch perfect, almost too simple, yet biting and raw.

5. A Few Good Men: You can't handle the truth! That quote was easy. I love this screenplay because there is almost no action. It is all about the dialogue. Of course it was first a stage play, but there's a reason stage plays often don't make it on the big screen. This one did, in a big way.

6. On the Waterfront: I coulda been a contender. Marlon Brando is such a powerful figure that it's easy to miss just how good the writing is in this movie.

7. As Good as it Gets: You make me want to be a better man. I love the wit and honesty in this screenplay. Each phrase is keyed to reveal a little bit more of each character without a word wasted.

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Sometimes I think people don't understand how lonely it is to be a kid. This is beautiful to me because it has to be one of the most piercing accounts of the importance of pain in relationships as well as pleasure, about how we often focus on the pain and forget the long ropes of pleasure that tie the painful moments together.

9. Northfork: We are all angels. It is what we do with our wings that separates us. This haunting fantasy of death and transition is an underrated masterpiece in my book. More people need to watch this film, and more than once.

10. Memento: Nice shot, Liebowitz. I include this one because the movie was just freakin' cool. There are a lot of good lines in this puppy as well, but the concept and execution are amazing.

11. Galaxy Quest: By Grabthar's hammer, by the sons of Worvan, you shall be avenged. This is a movie with a great concept that could have been a disaster. Instead it was cleverly written, a perfect satire, especially for Trekkies/ers everywhere.

12. The Truman Show: Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night! Still the best commentary out there on reality TV. The writing here is tight, right down to Truman's name. True Man, in Burbank (the studio location.) An all around favorite for me.

13. The Maltese Falcon: Don't be too sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be. Start with Bogey, end with Bogey. This movie is chock full of clever, Sam Spade trademark lines that I had a terrible time picking just one.

So, what would you like to have written, if you could slap your name on any movie around?


It's about me, dummy!!!


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